They believe Jose Abreu will return from the disabled list in 15 days but the White Sox plan to exercise caution.
The slugger -- who has been placed in a walking boot and diagnosed with posterior tibia tendonitis in his left ankle -- returned to Chicago on Sunday for more tests and treatment.
Those plans include another MRI to ensure there’s no further damage or unforeseen issues to the ankle of Major League Baseball’s home-run leader. General manager Rick Hahn stressed on a conference call Sunday the club wants Abreu to allow his ankle to properly heal. The ankle has bothered Abreu and required constant treatment since spring training.
Therefore, Hahn doesn’t want to speculate when Abreu might return.
“It would be pure speculation right now to guess that it’s something more serious,” Hahn said. “But since we do now have 15 days, we’re going to take our time to exhaust the possibilities. I dislike speculating on return timeframes. Obviously we tried to do that with Chris (Sale), and sometimes recovery takes longer. It can take a little longer to get inflammation out or get rid of some soreness. But as of right now, it’s reasonable to believe we’ll be able to resolve this thing within the 15-day period.”
Despite playing through pain that manager Robin Ventura recently said has made him wince, Abreu has wanted to stay in the lineup.
The White Sox had planned for Abreu to stay off the ankle for 48 hours -- the team was off Thursday -- but media reports said he informed Ventura he wanted to play on Friday.
It’s hard to argue with the results, either.
Since he was moved from first base to designated hitter on May 9, a move designed to reduce his workload, Abreu has three homers in eight games, including a game-winner on Wednesday in Oakland.
But Abreu was pulled for a pinch hitter in the seventh inning Saturday after he continued to play through visible pain. He told reporters in Houston the ankle had gotten worse.
“I don’t think it’s worthwhile to go back and second-guess the treatment regimen,” Hahn said. “We have a great deal of faith in our doctors and well as our players’ ability to communicate exactly what they’re feeling
“But it just got to the point it was clear we were going to have to take a step back for the long-term benefit of his recovery and take whatever time is necessary to get this thing right, as opposed to going back and forth every few days and letting him try to fight through it.”